The sandwich generation can be difficult at best.
On the one hand, you work hard each day giving your kids your all. You guide them as best as you can.
On the other, your mom and dad increasingly need your help. You make suggestions on ways to improve their quality of life. But they’re adults, and they won’t listen to you. They do things their way, and little you say influences them.
So stress builds. Accidents happen. And you deal with the consequences.
You see that they need a little extra help around the home. You notice the little things they miss. And while they really aren’t at risk for serious complications from their choices, you know their lives would greatly benefit if they accepted a little help.
Are there ways to make them listen?
Evaluate the issue
Before you push forward, decide just how crucial the argument is. Does it impact their safety or well-being? Or is it irritating but not that important? If it doesn’t impact their overall health, let them have their way and move on.
Put the blame somewhere else
There are lots of ways to make someone else the bad guy. For example, if you don’t want your mom smoking around your kids, explain to her how it impacts her grandkids health. If you’re the one making suggestions all the time, it can be easier to motivate them when the outcome effects someone else.
Accept their decisions
You may be able to see how much their lives could improve if they accepted a little help, but in the end, your mom and dad are adults. They have the right to do things their way. No matter what decision they make, accept it. Sometimes the only way to prove a point is to let them do what they need to do, and fail if necessary.
Let it go
Sometimes caregiving is like watching a train wreck – you can see it coming but can’t do anything about it. Your parents are going to do what they want to do, and you’ll be left with the clean-up. Accept it, and let it go. You can’t control their actions. And in most cases, you’ll be a part of the clean-up. Don’t beat yourself up about the process. If you need an outside source to share your feelings with, find a support group that will let you confide your worries and help you get through the situation with the least amount of stress as possible.